Aug. 18, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - With a fifth place finish during its inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 2013, the University of Notre Dame women's soccer team got a taste for the competitiveness of its new league immediately. The Fighting Irish were selected sixth in the 2014 ACC preseason poll, with votes compiled from each of the conference's 14 head coaches, that was released on Monday.
Notre Dame, ranked 16th in the preseason National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire poll, earned a total of 128 voting points to place just behind Duke for the ACC's top five squad listing according to the predicted order of finish. Each of the top eight teams in the ACC poll are also ranked in the preseason NSCAA top 25: No. 1 Florida State (No. 2 NSCAA), No. 2 Virginia (No. 3 NSCAA), No. 3 North Carolina (No. 4 NSCAA), No. 4 Virginia Tech (No. 5 NSCAA), No. 5 Duke (No. 18 NSCAA), No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 Wake Forest (No. 21 NSCAA) and No. 8 Boston College (No. 19 NSCAA).
Junior tri-captain Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) was also one of 11 players selected to the preseason all-ACC team, the conference office announced on Monday. Roccaro earned first team all-ACC honors in 2013 after scoring five goals and adding two assists in 21 starts.
A total of seven starters and 18 monogram winners are expected to be back in the fold for first-year Fighting Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo from Notre Dame's debut team in the ACC that finished 13-8-1 last season. Notre Dame made its 21st straight appearance in the NCAA Championship in 2013, the third longest active streak of any team in Division I women's soccer.
Defending ACC tournament champion Florida State garnered 189 voting points, including eight first place votes, to top the 2014 ACC preseason poll over reigning conference regular-season champion Virginia (183 points, five first place votes). Perennial league power North Carolina checked in third in the rankings with 166 points and the final first place vote, with Virginia Tech (150 points), Duke (135) and Notre Dame rounding out the conference's top six teams.
Wake Forest accumulated 104 voting points to finish seventh, followed by Boston College (95 points), Clemson (79 points) and ACC newcomer Louisville (72 points) in the top 10. Syracuse (56 points) placed 11th, with Miami (44 points), North Carolina State (42 points) and Pittsburgh (16 points) rounding out the poll.
Notre Dame is set to kick off the 2014 season on Friday at Illinois, with game time slated for noon (CT) at the Illinois Soccer Stadium in Champaign, Ill. The Fighting Irish will open the regular season home slate at Alumni Stadium on Sunday against Oakland at 3:30 p.m. (ET), with live video coverage available on WatchND.tv.
To purchase a season pass or single-match tickets for the 2013 Notre Dame women's soccer season, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site (UND.com/tickets) or stop by the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office windows during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday). Tickets also can be purchased at Alumni Stadium on match days.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's soccer program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women's soccer Twitter pages (@ndsoccernews or @ndsoccer), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
Preseason ACC Coaches Poll
1. Florida State (189 points, 8 first place votes)
2. Virginia (183, 5)
3. North Carolina (166, 1)
4. Virginia Tech (150)
5. Duke (135)
6. Notre Dame (128)
7. Wake Forest (104)
8. Boston College (95)
9. Clemson (79)
10. Louisville (72)
11. Syracuse (56)
12. Miami (44)
13. NC State (42)
14. Pitt (16)
Preseason All-ACC Team